If you were always destined to help humanity and solve healthcare problems, taking a nursing career can be very fulfilling. However, that’s one part of the equation. You have to figure out the nursing course that suits you. If you are yearning to step into the nursing role sooner and gain more experience, you only need to be a Certified Nursing Assistant or a Licensed Practical Nurse. On the other hand, if you want to go big and become a registered nurse, you should differentiate between an ASN degree and a BSN degree.
ASN degree or the BSN degree?
- Associate of Science in Nursing degree
For qualifications to work as a Registered Nurse, the entry-level program is a great place to start. Once you are done in eighteen to twenty-four months, you can apply for state licensure. As most people do, you can start with this program, then bridge from an RN to BSN.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree
The course lasts three to four years, covering the ASN nursing curriculum and beyond. The skills and knowledge acquired are all-rounded and incorporate the extensive clinical experience to equip the bearer for advanced patient care. Besides, the students can select the type of healthcare they wish to major in.
Differences between an ASN and BSN nursing
- Class schedules
Earning an Associate of Science in Nursing lasts two years, with a BSN taking three to four years. Bridging from paramedics or LPNs to ASN should last sixteen to eighteen months, and to a BSN can last twenty-eight to thirty-two months. The BSN degree is more comprehensive and therefore covers the following that the ASN doesn’t:
- Critical thinking;
- Social sciences;
- Leadership and management, enabling one to take up administrative and teaching roles;
- Nursing theory and informatics to familiarize with the new tech that is improving the medical world; and
- Communication courses.
As a result, some term the ASN nurses as technical RNs and the BSN nurses as professional RNs.
- Course credit hours
The ASN nursing focuses on technical, clinical tasks and general day-to-day patient care like monitoring, chart updates, and basic procedures. It is typically based on nursing skills and, therefore, a faster entry to work. It needs a total of 72 credit hours.
The BSN degree incorporates educational and nursing courses to better equip students for efficient decision-making, improved patient care, and management. In most cases, the degree requires roughly 120 credits, varying depending on the program, and a clinical experience of approximately 700 to 800 hours.
- Job opportunities
Having an ASN degree certifies you for an RN position, but becoming a BSN nurse gives you an added advantage as more employers seem to be focusing on higher degree levels. Besides, it can earn you a place in public health, nursing research, and teaching.
- Patient outcomes
Students who have undergone a BSN program are prepared for quality care and safety in twelve to sixteen areas of their curriculum. Following the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’ reports, an increase of ten percent of BSN nurses reduces the mortality rate by 10.9%.
- Tuition costs
While you may wish to enroll for the best course available, the tuition fee should be a determining factor. As expected, an ASN degree costs less than a BSN degree due to the fewer credit hours, less classroom instruction, and minimum clinical experience. However, scholarships may be available for some students, so check out your options.
An ASN degree is a great way to jumpstart your nursing career and gain work experience faster as a registered nurse. However, a BSN degree is a more detailed nursing course covering the former and Liberal arts courses, making one eligible for teaching and administrative roles. Depending on the institute you choose, the time frame may vary slightly. Keep in mind that choosing the right one is also crucial.